CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois has been on borrowed time for a decade when it comes to new federal security rules, but it appears time has run out.
In 2005, Congress enacted a law imposing tougher requirements to prove U.S. residency, but Illinois has yet to comply with new security rules for driver’s licenses and state ID cards.
The REAL ID Act requires state officials to verify birth certificates through the Electronic Verification of Vital Events system in order to meet federal security and anti-terrorism guidelines.
Until now, the federal government has repeatedly granted Illinois extensions, but turned down the state’s latest request. That means, after January 10, an Illinois driver’s license or ID card won’t be good enough to get past security at federal facilities, and by summer it might not be good enough to board a commercial airliner.
“Homeland Security has told us people will be able to get on airplanes, but there may be another extra measure of security they may have to go through. That hasn’t been defined yet, in terms of what that might be. As I say, perhaps another line to go through,” Illinois Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Dave Druker said.
Druker said the REAL ID Act security requirements would cost the state $4 million a year, and he called the rejection of the state’s request for another extension misguided and short-sighted.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office has said it’s up to the Illinois General Assembly to pass legislation that would allow state IDs and driver’s licenses to meet the federal requirements, as well as the funding needed to implement the changes.